My Word

My Stetson’s welcome, seeing that my hair,
thick as a furry animal’s in June,
is here in my October passing spare.
Unlike my words! They well from a lagoon
of similes. They cascade like a flood
of rhetoric to rage against the light.
They’re a lyric Lear-full sung by Elmer Fudd
who comes not that genteelly into sight.
I try to mitigate his senseless rant
with pearls of wisdom, but they don’t exist.
I winkle phonemes out of shells that can’t
be called sand free although they do persist
in staying pearl-less, peerlessly absurd.
I hear sea shanties in them, and my word.

Were Worthy

‘Which words resemble me?’ I asked.
The Red Queen answered, ‘None.’

‘Is that use or mention?’ I inquired.
‘Do no words look at all like me

or’s None my doppelganger, Ma’am?’
There was silence in the Hall.

When someone laughed, ‘Off with his head!’
was what the Red Queen screamed.

Her liveried rabbits strode my way
and pointed tungsten pikes

at what I hoped was someone stood
behind me, and it was.

It was a password who still laughed:
it was my old friend Were.

Were simpered still, subjectively.
The queen, who’d been irate,

ripped the pike from the lead rabbit’s hands
and smote Were on his pate.

And what was Were right up to then
went weirdly inert.

From a nose bleed nudged by queenly pike
rose flowers on Were’s shirt.

I wished no more that I were Were;
were that so I’d be dead.

I woke and wept for Were who wasn’t
anymore, and left.